How does the prevalence of venous insufficiency vary by age?

Updated: Oct 22, 2018
  • Author: Robert Weiss, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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The prevalence of venous insufficiency increases with age. Peak incidence occurs in women aged 40-49 years and in men aged 70-79 years.

Reticular veins usually appear or are first noticed in adolescence and young adulthood, with only a small number of new cases developing after the childbearing years. Truncal varicosities and telangiectatic webs, on the other hand, are relatively less common in youth and can appear throughout life.

The Bochum study, which assessed a large number of children aged 10-12 years at one point (Bochum I) and again 4 years later (Bochum II), revealed that symptoms and abnormal venous test results occur before any abnormal veins are visible at the surface. Abnormal reticular veins appear first and are followed by incompetent perforatoring veins and truncal varicosities, which appear several years later. [8]

Although active venous ulceration affects less than 1% of the population, its prevalence slightly increases to 3% in individuals older than 65 years. [9]

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